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Dirk VandeverDan Ambrose

Dirk Vandever · Dan Ambrose

Dirk Vandever's "Two Bites of the Apple" Voir Dire, Hosted by Dan Ambrose

TLU Icon October 26, 2023 5:30 PM||TLU n Demand

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Expanding his one hour presentation at Huntington Beach, Dirk Vandever will now give a 2 hour segment on the idea that it is possible to both “de-select” those who should not serve and build a group with those who should. Certainly there are superb trial lawyers who would with sound reasoning disagree arguing that such an approach sends a mixed message to the venire. This is not a “one size fits all” approach nor has it advanced to something that is done with every issue that is discussed in voir dire.

Even without an actual time limit, a trial lawyer must have the same sense a quarterback has as to when they have spent too much “time in the pocket.” If a lawyer exceeds that ill- defined maximum, they (and, more importantly, their clients) will be punished for wasting time. As with everything in trial, preparation is key requiring one to spend time to identify the key facts and issues to be discussed. This allows a lawyer to first identify those whose life beliefs put plaintiff at a disadvantage and then, second, confirm with jurors own words that they have no hesitation or struggle with those concepts. This is in two phases: I. Truly identifying the “big” issues of where you should look at both sides of the coin such as liability (“malpractice” or “slip and fall” or “accidents” where the defendants “really didn’t mean to hurt anyone” vs. the law of “ordinary care”) or damages (significant money damages for invisible “pain and suffering” versus specific elements within the quality of life which has now been changed forever); II. Selecting an individual within the second group and allowing them to give their thoughts before then asking if the remainder of that group is in agreement.

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